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Global South Turned the Tables in COP27 Summit

Nov. 21, 2022 (EIRNS)—This year’s UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was “FLOP27,” but in a different way. The developing nations and particularly the BRICS appear to have turned the tables on the World Economic Forum’s “Green Deal.” The bitter disappointment expressed this year by COP26 President, British Tory MP Alok Sharma, who wept while closing COP26 last year in Glasgow which he chaired, was that of an oligarchical agent who’d gotten whipped.

On Nov. 15 at COP27, the ministers responsible for “climate” of the five BRICS countries released a statement, quoted then in South Africa’s industry site, Engineering News, which began:

“[The] Ministers pledged their full support to the Egyptian COP27 Presidency for a successful conference, which should deliver an ambitious, equitable and balanced outcome, including substantial progress towards the establishment of a financial mechanism for Loss and Damage, the New Collective Quantified Finance Goal and operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation, as well as completion of the Work Program on Mitigation. The introduction of a dedicated agenda item on a funding arrangement for Loss and Damage, at the initiative of developing countries, is a welcome development.”

That “welcome development” is, apparently, the gist of what came out of COP27. As Sharma fumed, “Emissions peaking before 2025 as the science tells us is necessary? Not in this text. Clear follow-through on the phase-down of coal? Not in this text. Clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels? Not in this text. The energy text? Weakened in the final minutes.”

The Loss and Damage fund, whatever may become of its implementation given past performance of the “advanced” countries, was agreed upon due to a flip of the Biden Administration delegation during COP27 in Egypt, abandoning its previous opposition to a so-called unlimited liability of the industrial countries for costs of adaptation and “mitigation” by the developing countries. That flip was likely compelled by the tide of the Global South toward the BRICS, after decades of complete fossil fuel hypocrisy by the trans-Atlantic countries culminating in the destructive disgrace of their current war sanctions. And quite possibly, London and Washington intend using such Loss and Damage funding as there is, in their flailing attempts to counter China’s Belt and Road.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had tweeted: “It is morally bankrupt for Europeans to expect to take Africa’s fossil fuels for their own energy production but refuse to countenance African use of those same fuels for theirs.” The EU agreed at the summit to natural gas as a “transitional fuel” for Africa. EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans was quoted by Bloomberg News Nov. 16 at a press conference, “Renewable energy needs to play a key role, but I also believe that gas can play a transitional role. [African nations] see the reserves they have in hydrocarbons as part of that equation. This is not Europe trying to use Africa as a gas station.”

Global Times, in a Nov. 20 article, “COP27 Yields Historical Deal on Climate Loss and Damage,” ran a subhead doubting that Western nations would honor the new “mechanism,” but reported that “China, a strong supporter of establishing a loss and damage mechanism, has been actively helping developing countries tackle climate issues via the South-South cooperation.”

The Atlantic Council definitely did not like the outcome. “The global South won, but did the climate?” was the lead-in to their “experts” discussion. “Utter failure,” says one, “devastating to plans to keep global heating to no more than 1.5 ° Celsius.” The big emitters—China, India, Brazil and Indonesia—let off the hook, says another. It was Putin’s fault, of course; and the “non-state actor community” has to dominate next year.

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